Introduction to the Top 10 Series
Welcome to our top 10 series, the home of industry specific marketing tips designed to help growing SMEs. This series is aiming at helping accountancy businesses get the most from their marketing. Ten separate blogs cover our 10 key marketing objectives, Below is Tip 5 on Conversion to Sale. The next blog in the series will cover Ensuring Customer Adoption and long-term potential. Our previous blogs in this series are on our website.
Tip 5 – Conversion to sale and maximising the first sale
Accountancy falls within a limited number of professional services that are viewed as ‘must haves’ (not optional!) by the clients. With this in mind, there is often less marketing and sales focus put into the explanation of why they want an accountant in the first place, and much more effort applied to they should choose this specific accountant over others.
However, jumping to this assumption that the enquirer understands all their needs could be doing you out of business and an on-going relationship. You should be looking not just to answer their enquiries but to understand all the ways you can help.
Don’t just answer questions; pre-empt potential questions!
Almost all business owners are interested in improving their profitability. They are also concerned about cashflow and how to improve it over time. But how many accountants cover the topic of detailed management reporting, or cashflow forecasting?
This information is of great insight to SME’s, where the in-house financial team is either non-existent (owner managed) or part time / part skilled (admin assistant / part time book-keeper). These two services are obvious up-sell opportunities. They present a chance of retainer revenues and could be highly beneficial to clients.
A well-considered checklist for initial engagement should be in place, rather than a sales mix based only on the one or two specific services the client asks for, which may not deliver on all their current needs. You should be asking “what does this client need from an accountant in the context of achieving long term business success, beyond the minimisation of tax exposure and legal compliance?”
Show you care about their success
This approach is also great for creating rapport and differentiation. It shows that you are focussed on their overall success, not just their compliance. Demonstrating this within your marketing messages and brand identity separates you from the herd. Yes, it takes a little more effort, but it also increases conversion rate and average sale value.